There's a new mayor in Westminster as newcomer Joe Dominick beat incumbent Mayor Kevin Utz.

Dominick received 561 votes while Utz, who was seeking a third term, received 404. Dominick will join incumbent Councilman Tony Chiavacci and newcomer Ben Yingling, who each secured spots on the Common Council on Tuesday.


Chiavacci received 623 votes, Yingling received 619 and newcomer Ann Thomas Gilbert received 531.

Dominick said he's looking forward to being the city's mayor, and said he plans on talking with those with whom he will serve. He wants to get started on working on his campaign platforms, including working with the Fiber Network and addressing community concerns about public safety.

As polls were beginning to close Tuesday, Dominick said he will bring "a fresh look. A new look at things."

He's a businessman with communication and telemarketing experience, and he said that will help him in his role as mayor.

"I feel good. It's gratifying. I put a lot of work into this. I'm excited," he said after the election results were announced.

For his part, Utz said that he plans to keep being a part of the community despite the loss.

"It's been a great eight years. I'm still part of the community, and I'll do what the community needs me to do," he said.

Tuesday's win marked Chiavacci's third term. Winning again told him that it means he needs to keep working on moving the city in a positive direction.

"It says that I think people felt I did a good job during my last term," he said.

Chiavacci received the most votes of the night, with Yingling falling just shy of his total.

"I'm honored that many people, that percentage, voted for me," Chiavacci said.

Noah Foo, 5, waits outside the voting booth as his mother Ericka casts her ballot in the Westminster municipal election at the Westminster Community Building and Pool Tuesday, May 9, 2017.
Noah Foo, 5, waits outside the voting booth as his mother Ericka casts her ballot in the Westminster municipal election at the Westminster Community Building and Pool Tuesday, May 9, 2017. (DYLAN SLAGLE/STAFF PHOTO / Carroll County Times)

Turnout exceeded the previous Westminster mayoral election by more than 200 voters. The total amount of votes cast in the election was 1,008. Chief Election Judge Susan Thomas, who was at the Community Building polling place, said she was not sure why there were more people voting in Tuesday's election.

"Could be the weather, could be the candidates, I don't know. But it's a perfect day to come out and vote," Thomas said.

There was a bit of a rush after work, and there were people lined up to vote when the polls opened in the morning. Other than that, it was relatively steady, she said.


The John Street Quarters poll didn't see any big last-minute rush. While the total turnout was higher than the previous two elections, Chief Election Judge Nicky Smelser said the amount of people who voted in Precinct 1 was still under 10 percent.

"We're happy with the turnout, but it could be better," Smelser said.

Smelser said the higher turnout might be because it's contested.

"There's some new names involved — some new candidates," she said.

With two election sites, the candidates split their time between the Community Building and the John Street Quarters.

Yingling was campaigning at the John Street Quarters polling place Tuesday afternoon. He said he had great support and that the turnout looked good. He added that he couldn't compare this year's turnout to previous years because it was his first time running.

"I think we're going to make the city better today," Yingling said.

Getting out and voting is important because it's a way that residents can give feedback and affect their day-to-day lives, he said.

"It's where you can really make the most impact that directly affects the citizens at the local level," Yingling said.

The importance of voting in local elections is what brought Westminster resident Brandon Braun to the polls. People need to vote, whether it is a presidential election or a local one.

"If you don't come out and vote, then your voice isn't going to be heard," Braun said.

Utz was also at the John Street Quarters rolling around on a scooter due to a boot on his foot.

"I'm hobbling around and making my vote count," he said in the early afternoon.

Utz was with his mother, a judge on the Orphan's Court, who was able to cast her first vote for her son. When Utz had run before, his mother lived outside of the city limits, he said.

Utz said he was looking forward to seeing more people come out and vote.

"It's a small election: One or two votes can make a difference," he said.